By Shane Heins
(originally posted 2014/01/07)
“Wouldn’t it be nice, to get up in the morning at your leisure? To lounge in bed for an hour before getting up? Then get out in the fresh air and go for a walk or run. Then to come home and take a relaxing shower. Have a bite to eat and read your favourite book while doing so?
Oh wait. Ha ha. That’s called ‘not having kids’. Let’s try that again.
Wouldn’t it be nice, to get up in the morning at your leisure? To lounge in bed for an hour before getting up because your young children change their own diapers, get their own breakfast and get themselves dressed without having to ask anything of you? Then you get out in the fresh air and go for a walk or run because your kids are fine being at home on their own without supervision. Then to come home and take a relaxing shower without interruption because your kids are making their lunches for the day. And they are making yours, too. Then you have a bite to eat, and read your favourite book while doing so, because the wee ones are sitting quietly reading their own book as they wait patiently for you to finish?
Hang on. Ha ha, nevermind. That’s called ‘fantasy’. Okay, last try.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to get in 10, maybe even 15 minutes a day, just to yourself, of movement and invigorating your system? Forget for now the ideal of reclaiming your pre-pregnancy body, getting strong and being pain free. We’re talking just 10 – 15 minutes a day of getting going and starting the process.
Yeah… would be nice…
Yet it is one of the greatest challenges facing many mothers. And with GOOD REASON! In trying to be the best mother you can be to these little beings you have ushered into the world, you give so fully of your mind, your heart, your soul and your body. Having any energy to put towards your own well-being requires, well, energy. Which needs time to allow the reserves to fill back up. Energy and Time. Two elements you currently have the least of.
However attending to our overall well-being, of which a specific movement focus is a part of, is important for both ourselves and our children. Below are 5 key strategies to help you take the next step in attaining a deeper level of it, no matter where you are currently at:
- Having Compassion
Having Compassion… for you. For where you are at. For what you have been through. For what you do day in and day out. Recognizing that all of the accumulation indeed makes it hard. It would leave anyone drained, tired and struggling. Yet as mothers you do so with more poise, strength and consistency than you give yourselves credit for. You serve in one of societies most honourable roles, from which its very growth and expansion rises. And it requires one of the most intense life-altering personal evolutions that could be asked of anyone. Have Compassion.
- Start Sustainably
Just as we look to give our children enough challenge to grow, we also try to give them the space to develop through the necessary stages they are in. Same goes for you. Begin by finding a specific, focused movement activity that you can sustain from day to day for an allotted time that you can consistently sustain. If you have to do it at home, then do it at home. If 5 minutes is what you can sustain, then 5 minutes it is. Yes, it has more value than you can imagine.
- It Ain’t Perfect
Most likely, just as everything else in your life at the moment probably feels like. It doesn’t have to be an immaculate exercise session with no interruptions. You don’t to have to hit every rep or every round or every rest period exactly as prescribed. You don’t have to have burned X number of calories. The act of getting started and pouring your attention into that focus as best you can for that specified time, again, will begin to reverberate through the rest of your day, your week, your life.
- Time for Yourself Doesn’t Have to Mean Alone
We can often get stuck on “Well my current situation doesn’t allow me to have time to myself to do some exercise.” So do it while the kids are there with you. That time for you just means a focused period of time in which YOU are at the center of what needs to be attended to, not them. It may take a little bit for them to adjust to that fact, but kids are incredibly adaptable. And they will learn. Not to mention, you are inadvertently laying the foundation of a skill that will be extremely beneficial to them as they get older: doing the same for themselves.
- You guessed it…
Having Compassion. Compassion for yourself in the process. Because that’s what it is. Like the rearing of a child and nurturing him/her as they grow into the person they are meant to be, you are doing the same for yourself, having taken the an incredible leap in unveiling the person you are meant to be.”